Ancient Philosophical Influences: PLATO

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Ancient Philosophical Influences: PLATO by Mind Map: Ancient Philosophical Influences: PLATO

1. The concept of the Forms or Ideals:

1.1. in our world we have an idea of what beauty is and this is because we have an innate knowledge of true beauty or the form of beauty.

1.2. In the world which we live we have examples of imperfect, reflected beauty , such as flowers, but we are able to recognise or remember the form of beauty in flowers.

1.3. it is our souls that knew the forms before we were born because they are immortal + eternal.

1.4. Plato said when we refer to 'dog' we are referring to particular quality or essence it has- in the world of the forms exists a perfect dog + dogs in our world are a poor refection of the ideal dog which is eternal + unchanging.

2. Evaluation of the concept of the forms:

2.1. forms could just be ideas preserved in peoples minds. Richard Dawkins referred to the passing on of ideas like this as 'memes'

2.2. are there really forms for everything? plato is not really interested in the forms of material objects , but in the forms of concepts such as truth. If there is a form for good things is there a form for bad things.

2.3. the existence of any other world apart from the world of appearances cannot be proved.

2.4. plato never clearly explains the link between forms and the world of appearances , for ex what is the link between the forms of justice and instances of justice in the world.

2.5. Third man argument-aristotle put forward this argument that asks if a man is a copy of the form of the man , what is the origin of the form of a man? This argument points out that a copy of a form could be the beginning of an infinite series that goes on and on.

2.6. goodness can be subjective and relative- if the highest for is the form of good , how do we know what goodness is when 2 people come to different conclusions about what is right or wrong. difficult to say what true goodness is n how it can be proven

2.7. plato says that the world of appearances and sense experience is not valuable but we need this knowledge surive

3. symbolism of the cave

3.1. cave - visible world in which we live , world of appearances ,released prisoner the philosopher, the prisoner - the rest of humanity , the shadows- what we perceive as our reality , outside the cave- true reliaty , the sun- the perfect form of the good , the source , the journey out- the struggle for true knowledge , return to the cave- philosophers attempt to explain his ideas, death of the escaped prisoner , death of socrates.

4. the meaning of the analogy :

4.1. explains some but not all of the theory of the forms.

4.2. it looks at who is the most suitable to rule society - the philosopher who can see the forms or the politician who desires power and fame

4.3. it examines the fact that most people are quite happy in their ignorant state- don't want to explore more , limit themselves to only see their world in that way.

5. Platos dualist view:

5.1. believed that the body and soul exist separately from each other but are linked in some way.

5.2. He believed that the soul has always existed.

5.3. believed that their are two types of beings: the spiritual being (souls) and material beings (chairs , dogs etc) +that each has its own realm.

5.4. two realms: the material world in which we live , which is constantly changing , and the spiritual world of the should , unchanging.

5.5. realm of appearances + realm of reality. Realm of reality he saw as the true realm and does not change.

6. The relation between the form of the good and the other forms:

6.1. Plato believed the forms were interconnected and arranged in a hierarchy , most important form is the form of the good

6.2. like the sun in the cave , it is the source of the other forms. All forms are aspects of goodness. plato said that the form of the good is the greatest thing we have to learn and knowledge of the form of the good is an end in itself and gives meaning + purpose to life

7. Plato intro:

7.1. plato was influenced by socrates who said that to be moral you have to have true knowledge to know what is right to do what is right.

7.2. plato did NOT think we gained knowledge from our sense as he said that senses cannot be trusted because the world is constantly changing.

7.3. according to plato, we do not learn new things but remember them , as knowledge is innate.

8. The analogy of the cave:

8.1. the analogy of the cave tells the reader to imagine a large, dark cave connected to the outside world by a long passage , in the cave is a row of prisoners. The prisoners are chained up with their backs to the entrance + are unable to move.

8.2. behind them is a fire , their voices echo + their are shadows. Plato says that this is all the reality that the prisoners perceive.

8.3. one of the prisoners is released , when he returns to the cave the prisoners do not understand when he speaks about his experiences as they only know the shadows and the echoes.